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World AIDS Day Activities Held at U of U

November. 24, 2003 — By the end of 2002 there were 49 million AIDS cases worldwide. Globally, 6,000 young people, between the ages of 15 and 24, become infected with HIV every day.

To raise the awareness of AIDS, a number of University of Utah activities have been planned around World AIDS Day, Monday, Dec. 1st. Held between Dec. 1st and 4th, the events are sponsored by the University’s Student Health Service, the Office of Health Promotion, the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Center (LGBT), Harm Reduction, Students for Choice and Campus AIDS Project. The activities will be held in the Ballroom of the University of Utah Olpin Union Building and the Chase N. Petersen Heritage Center.

On Dec.1st, quilts will be displayed in the Union Ballroom, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Red ribbons, free condoms and information on HIV and AIDS will be available until 2 p.m.

On Thursday, Dec. 4th, a panel discussion titled “Living with HIV/AIDS” will be held in the Petersen Heritage Center’s conference rooms A and B, from 6 until 7 p.m. Following the discussion, at 7 p.m., Students for Choice will give an encore performance of “Sex in the Dark,” an informative session about sex-related activities and diseases.

In connection with World AIDS Day, a service project to collect personal care items for families living with HIV/AIDS began earlier this month and will end on Dec. 15th. The campus community is urged to donate items, such as shampoo/conditioner, soap, razors, laundry detergent, feminine hygiene products, toilet paper, cotton swabs, diapers and deodorant. These items will be collected at all of the sorority houses and in the Social Work building, Family Consumer Studies building, Student Health Service, LGBT Resource Center, the Bennion Center, the Cork Room and in Annex C. Once collected, the personal care items will be placed in Christmas stockings and delivered to the families.

Throughout next week red ribbons will be distributed to the campus community as well as tied on campus trees in remembrance of those who have AIDS and of those who have died because of AIDS.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “estimate that 850,000 to 950,000 U.S. residents are living with HIV infection, one-quarter of whom are unaware of their infection.” The United States also has about 40,000 new HIV infections each year.

“We need to realize the gravity of these problems and be aware that anyone who is experimenting with unprotected sex is at risk,” notes Jenny Witt, health intern in the Office of Health Promotion at Student Health Service. “We hope the campus community will join us in the fight against AIDS and come and support our AIDS awareness activities at the University of Utah.”